Gift Ideas: A History of Heart Jewels


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Antique emerald, ruby and diamond ring, Dutch, circa 1760.
Ref: 15014

Wednesday 10th October 2012

Unfortunately the exact origin of the heart shape as a symbol of love has been obscured over time.  With regards to jewellery, however, the earliest known examples of heart shaped love jewels appear around the fourteenth century in the form of rings and brooches, often inscribed with short love poems.  This was the era of courtly love, the basis of the modern conception of romance, centred on knights and damsels in distress, and thus jewellery as a love token was a natural manifestation of this movement.

In the centuries to follow the heart symbol became solidified as the a symbol of romance, but at no time was it so popular as during the Victorian era.  The Romantic Movement, with its focus on emotions and intuition, instilled the taste for sentimental jewellery.  Queen Victoria (reigning monarchs ever being arbiters of taste) was particularly fond of love jewellery, and owned numerous heart jewels, including a heart charm bracelet with a charm representing each of her children.

Today the heart is widely accepted as the definitive symbol of love.  If one cannot say it in words, then surely a heart shaped jewel is the ultimate way to express one’s feelings on the day of the celebration of love, Valentine’s Day.

Victorian natural pearl and diamond heart shaped brooch/pendant, circa 1900.
Victorian natural pearl and diamond heart shaped brooch/pendant, circa 1900.
Ref: 15171
Sterling silver brooch by Georg Jensen, Danish, circa 1950.
Sterling silver brooch by Georg Jensen, Danish, circa 1950.
Ref: 16885
Antique open heart diamond ring, circa 1890.
Antique open heart diamond ring, circa 1890.
Ref: 15313
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Antique old mine diamond double heart ring, circa 1860.
Ref: 22304
Antique amethyst and pearl pendant, circa 1905.
Antique amethyst and pearl pendant, circa 1905.
Ref: 15599
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Antique double heart pearl cluster ring, circa 1870.
Ref: 13898
Antique gold bracelet with enamel and diamond heart locket, circa 1840.
Antique gold bracelet with enamel and diamond heart locket, circa 1840.
Ref: 10242
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Antique moonstone and pearl bracelet, English, circa 1895.
Ref: 22365
front-view-Silver signet/fede ring, 15th-16th century.
Silver signet/fede love ring, 15th-16th century.
Ref: 16578
front-view-Antique Diamond Pearl Heart Brooch in Gold.
Antique Diamond Pearl Heart Brooch in Gold.
Ref: 14148
Rock crystal and diamond heart shaped pendant, circa 1890.
Rock crystal and diamond heart shaped pendant, circa 1890.
Ref: 16441
Heart shaped pendant set with a sapphire and rose cut diamonds, French, circa 1920.
Heart shaped pendant set with a sapphire and rose cut diamonds, French, circa 1920.
Ref: 16110
Antique heart shaped diamond pendant necklace, circa 1905.
Antique heart shaped diamond pendant necklace, circa 1905.
Ref: 15204

88-90 HATTON GARDEN, London, EC1N 8PN, England


Berganza the jewellers is based in the heart of Hatton Garden, London. We specialise in the finest examples of ancient, antique and vintage engagement rings. We are proud to have one of the largest collections of these rings in the world.

We believe in only offering exceptional pieces from each design period, from Ancient Roman intaglio seal rings, Viking twisted rings through to rare gem-set Medieval pieces, Georgian, ornate Victorian, elegant Edwardian, bold Art Deco and retro vintage designs. Each piece has a unique historical background and dates to a time when jewellery was crafted by hand, so no two are alike.

We deal in rarity and as such have a vast collection of posy rings, the precursors to 'modern' wedding rings. Each piece of jewellery is set with hand cut diamonds or natural and unenhanced gemstones, often from mines long since depleted. Our team of specialists are trained in all aspects of gemology and history of jewellery design so we are able to select the finest quality pieces of jewellery for our extensive one-of-a-kind stock

Telephone +44 (0)20 7430 0393 / +44 (0)20 7404 2336


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